The Heart of Addiction

A New Approach to Understanding and Managing Alcoholism and Other Addictive Behaviors, by Lance Dodes, M.D. This month’s Great Read is a groundbreaking and empathic way to view and treat addictions, not as a character flaw or a disease, but as an attempt to address emotional pain. Lance Dodes is a retired clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard who watched people repeatedly fail sobriety programs — … Read More


How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality Mindfulness, once a Buddhist spiritual tradition of prayer and dedicated inner work, has become a heavily researched, stripped down, and professionalized industry. Schools, hospitals, prisons, workplaces, and even the military have been sold endless mindfulness programs that promise peace and well-being. However, this isn’t the promise of mindfulness itself, which asks us to become enlightened and to relieve social … Read More

Meeting the Shadow

The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature This month’s Great Read is a collection of essays on the human shadow, which you can discover by exploring what you despise and also what you adore. Meeting the Shadow uncovers the shadow in a variety of places: in relationships, groups, families, churches, and our hearts — and it shares many ways to work with and … Read More

What Motivates Getting Things Done

Procrastination, Emotions, and Success In this surprising and valuable book, psychologist Mary Lamia explores the importance of anxiety, which she identifies as the emotion of motivation. Dr. Lamia also identifies two ways that we work with our anxiety. In one, which she calls task-oriented, we are motivated by tasks and tend to complete them in a step-by-step way, one after another. In the other motivational style, … Read More

The Power of Emotions at Work

Accessing the Vital Intelligence in Your Workplace In her newest book (August, 2021), researcher and workplace consultant Karla McLaren explores the emotional condition of the modern workplace. Sadly, the news isn’t good. In all studies of workplace mental health, researchers have found that the workplace overwhelmingly creates unhealthy and even emotionally abusive environments that negatively affect the health and well-being of workers. We’ve all been taught … Read More

Escaping Utopia

Growing Up in a Cult, Getting Out, and Starting Over This month’s Great Read helps us look at the usually hidden world of cults so that we can understand how they work, how they entrap people, and how people can get out. Many people think that cults are bizarre groups filled with lost people, but the work of international cult expert Janja Lalich helps us see … Read More

The Art of Gathering

How We Meet and Why it Matters This month’s Great Read helps us look at meetings and gatherings in new ways so that we can build meaning and purpose into our meetings, parties, get-togethers, and gatherings. Author Priya Parker specializes in conflict resolution and change management in organizations, and through her work, she learned how to set up meetings that prepared people to be successful in … Read More

How Emotions Are Made

The Secret Life of the Brain This month’s Great Read is by a researcher who has upended the entire study of emotions. Lisa Feldman Barrett is a professor of Psychology and a groundbreaking brain researcher who has led us into a new understanding of how the brain works, how emotions work, and why so many of our accepted ideas about the brain are mistaken or just … Read More

The Age of Empathy

A Primatologist Explores the Development of Empathy in Primates This month’s Great Read is a wonderful exploration of the deep roots of empathy in our primate cousins by Sir Frans de Waal. Dr. de Waal began his study of primates by watching for violence, conflict, and warring behaviors, but he soon realized that there were just as many soothing, comforting, fight-avoiding, and consolation behaviors among the … Read More

Why We Believe What We Believe

Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth This month’s Great Read delves into beliefs — why we have them, how they work, and what purpose they play. Andrew Newberg is a professor of Radiology and Psychiatry who studied the brain scans of people as they prayed, meditated, and spoke in tongues. Why We Believe What We Believe is a fascinating journey into the cognitive … Read More

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